A mother was sentenced to two-and-a-half years' imprisonment on Wednesday (12 July) and her son was given a 12-month community order for conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
Arafa Nassib, 47, of Lower Rushall Street, Walsall and Adil Kasim, 18, of Lower Rushall Street, Walsall, claimed that Nassib had died in a car crash in Zanzibar in April 2016.
The case was referred to the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) by Scottish Widows in November 2016, after it became suspicious of the documentation Kasim had provided when he tried to make a claim against his mother’s (Nassib) life insurance policy in May 2016.
In May 2016, a claim was sent to Scottish Widows against two life insurance policies with a value of nearly £140,000.
The claim was submitted from the beneficiary of the claim, Adil Kasim, who notified Scottish Widows by sending a letter with a death certificate from Zanzibar.
Scottish Widows was suspicious of the claim and an investigation was launched by its fraud team. It was claimed that Nassib attended the Mnazi Mmoja Hospital where it was documented she had been pronounced dead.
However it was later established that she had not been at the hospital, nor had she been treated by the doctor who Kasim had named in a life insurance questionnaire.
It was later established that the death certificate and road traffic accident reports that they had provided in order to make the claim were falsified.
Furthermore, the Zanzibar death registry office confirmed that Nassib was not buried at the location claimed.
The investigation found that Nassib flew back to Birmingham from Zanzibar on 6 May 2016. On this day, she used her mobile to make a number of calls to Kasim.
Kasim was arrested on 22 December 2016.
On his arrest, many items were seized from him including a mobile phone, a passport and flight tickets.
While being interviewed, Kasim admitted that he and his mother had planned the fraud and that his mother was now living in Canada to avoid detection.
He described their plan for Nassib to go to Zanzibar to visit family and when she was out there, to obtain the necessary documents to falsify her death.
Officers made contact with Nassib while she was in Canada and she returned to the UK on 8 February 2017 where she was arrested by detectives from the City of London Police.
During her police interview Nassib said that she was in debt which was getting hard to manage and causing her stress.
Nassib admitted knowing her death had been fraudulently reported to the government in Zanzibar when she was there in April 2016.
No money was paid out in relation to the claim.
Speaking of the case, the officer in charge, detective constable Daryl Fryatt, said: "Nassib and Kasim exploited the insurance industry for their own monetary gain, going to great lengths to try and avoid detection. Nassib moved her entire life abroad simply to try and avoid the consequences of faking her own death.